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Remembrance: The Sikh Story

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Worth a watch – Tuesday 9th November BBC1 11.20pm

Across the country during November, Remembrance Services will honour the sacrifices made by the British Armed Forces on the battlefields of Europe in two world wars. But Britain’s victories in those wars may never have been achieved without the heroism of the soldiers of a small religious faith from the far-flung corners of the Empire – the Sikhs of northern India.

One of the less well-known facts about the First World War is that more Indians volunteered to fight for Britain than all the Scots, Welsh and Irish combined, and up to a third of those Indian troops were Sikh, with 100,000 witnessing action in the European trenches by the end of the war. In the Second World War, 2.5 million Indians fought in the British Indian Army, with the Sikhs again hugely over-represented in the medals for valour, including Victoria Crosses.

Remembrance – The Sikh Story examines why soldiers from a minority Indian faith played such a hugely disproportionate role in the fight for a country they’d never visited, and a King they’d never seen, and also explores how the Sikhs’ valiant fighting abilities drew the admiration of their fellow Tommies in the trenches.

This film features contributions from eminent Sikh historians, British military experts and Second World War veterans, and reveals the unveiling of a new memorial for Indian First World War soldiers in the Sussex Downs. It also features the last-ever interview with legendary Squadron Leader Mahinder [Singh omitted from the article].

http://www.bobpiper.co.uk/2010/11/rembrance-the-sikh-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rembrance-the-sikh-story
 

Chaan Pardesi

Writer
SPNer
November 3, 2010 at 2:06 am
<!-- .comment-meta .commentmetadata -->With so much contributed to the defence of this nation, it is very sad indeed that SIKHS have faced erroneously serious after effects of terrorism much more seriuosly than any one else, because their of their identity.Those with no knowledge and little education in this country continue to associate Sikhs with the ALQaeda and the Taliban. The reallity is Sikhs have nothing in common with such terrorists and have always advocated peaceful means to any difficult solution.

Sikhs will always and again stand shoulder to shoulder with every decent law abiding citizen of THIS country to fight against terrorism.But British citizens have a duty of care to ensure Sikhs are not labelled the mistaken identity of extremist islamist or alqaeda terrorists.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Chaan Pardesi ji

I appreciate your sentiments. But in the US Sikhs are also confused with terrorists and called names like diaper heads and towel heads. Perhaps there is more of a life and let live attitude in the US on a person to person basis. But political action groups still carry on in a bigoted way, as do government agencies local, state and federal.

Sikhs in the US have some very important institutions however that give us more clout that is found in Europe -- i.e., well-organized and politically sophisticated advocacy groups that work tirelessly. SALDEF, Sikh Coalition to name just two. Also, and I do not know the reason for this, but it seems that at the sangat level there is more political engagement by Sikhs in local government. You see this in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey in particular. In such places, Sikhs including turbaned Sikhs hold political office.

I cannot speak for the facts in the UK. But American Sikhs do seem to have the kind of political intelligence that helps win court cases, change pubic attitudes, and influence public policy on a regular basis. Makes me very proud.
 
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